By Libby Hopkins
In today’s society, more and more families are living in poverty because of the economy. When you think about ways to help these families, your first thoughts may be how to provide them with food or shelter, especially if they have babies or toddlers. You don’t think about providing the family with diapers.
Debi Rucker, founder and executive director of Blessed Bottoms in Brandon, has made it her job to see that families with infants or toddlers have enough diapers to make their children happy and healthy. Rucker started the organization after she had a talk with a neighbor about a diaper bank that the neighbor’s sister had started in Detroit.
“Once I heard about the critical need for diapers, I realized that there are no assistance programs that help pay for or provide diapers,” Rucker said. “I then thought about the impact on children that are not provided with a healthy supply of clean diapers.”
Blessed Bottoms was born. It is an organization based in Southeastern Hillsborough County. The purpose of Blessed Bottoms’ ministry is to show the love of Jesus by meeting some practical needs in the community. “We have an average distribution of 7,000 diapers a month and our focus area is Brandon, Lithia and Valrico,” Rucker said.
To sustain a clean and healthy life, a child will need up to 10 diapers a day. The cost for a family in poverty to diaper a child can be upwards of a $100 a month. Blessed Bottoms is fund completely by donations and Rucker would like to see the community get more involved with her ministry. “I want to urge the community to help by hosting diapers drives at their place of work, worship or school,” Rucker said.
The week of September 10-17 is Diaper Need Awareness Week. Rucker is looking for volunteers to host diaper drives or help organize fundraiser to bring in more donations. “As we raise awareness of this need, my hope is that we can get more people involved with wanting to help,” Rucker said.
To make a donation to Blessed Bottoms or learn more about the organization, visit www.blessedbottoms.org.